On 100th anniversary of WWI, Cambria County vets to be memorialized


This weekend, millions of Americans will celebrate Veteran’s Day, honoring those who fought for our country. And it's also a major anniversary. Sunday marks 100 years since the end of World War I.

Cambria County has a long history of military service. Look no further than the Cambria County War Memorial and you'll see hundreds of names line the walls of those who fought and died in WWII, the Korean war, and more.

One thing that's missing are names of those who died in WWI.

"There are 203. Unfortunately, three of those actually died on the day fighting was scheduled to end,” said Josh Hauser, director of Veterans Affairs in Cambria County. “They died prior to the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month."

One of those men, Harmon Folckemer, was killed in France just four hours before the war ended on Nov. 11, 1918.

"They were sons of Cambria County that were called upon to serve their nation and they went and they did that to the full extent and the least we can do is make sure that they're always remembered," Hauser said.

He said a ceremony on Sunday will honor Folckemer and many others from Cambria County who served.

"It's really an effort to be a part of the national dialogue for the centennial of the end of World War I."

Another soldier, Pvt. Bernard Sponsky. will be added to the memorial wall. According to the Daily Tribune, in 1918, he died in a hospital in France from pneumonia.

A Bakerton native, he served in the U.S. field artillery,

"Imagine the gravity of that war that just encompassed the entire world,” Hauser said. “It was the first of its kind where worldwide involvement was happening in a conflict."

Hauser says the war memorial was built on the heels of World War II, but this year, a century later, they felt it was important to recognize and memorialize the 203 that died in The Great War.

"It's 100 years on, but we don't ever want to forget the sacrifice they made and we want those names to be able to be read aloud another 100 years from now," Hauser said.

The ceremony will start at 10:30 am on Sunday at the War Memorial. The event is open to the public.

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